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Is it possible to see yourself objectively?

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posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 09:39 PM
Are we all too biased about ourselves to see ourselves objectively?

I think it's often a problem of missing the forest because one is focusing on the trees. For example, I've seen people who were obsessed with their weight, thinking that no one could like them unless they became thinner. But, a person's attractiveness can transcend any issues such as weight problems. Sometimes people have no comprehension of such things concerning themselves.

At the other extreme are narcissists. They seemingly have lost touch completely with any objectivity concerning who and what they are.

Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have a very distorted sense of self. They are generally "grandiose", which means they have an inflated or exaggerated opinion of their positive traits and / or abilities. Even though some are very attractive, highly intelligent, or exceptionally talented, narcissists typically regard themselves as elite or exceptional compared to everyone else. Regardless of their actual social standing, they perceive themselves as very important – and expect others to view them as such.


In my opinion, no one can see themselves truly objectively. In order to see yourself objectively, you would have to be outside of yourself. Since that's impossible, I can't see any way a person could ever have a truly objective view of themselves.
edit on 8-8-2016 by Profusion because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 09:43 PM
It would take an impressive amount of honesty and self esteem.

posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 09:46 PM
Too much introspection is unnerving.

posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 09:49 PM
a reply to: Profusion

My brain tells me I'm the greatest man who ever walked the planet, but I know he is lying

posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 09:52 PM
Jesus has helped me to realize the filth that I am...

So Id say yes, it is possible.

posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 09:54 PM
a reply to: Profusion

Who determines the objectives? No way the self can do that and no way society can do that. What society has the primo list of objectives? Take morality, who gets to make the rules on that whether you are objective or not in your view on that position for yourself or others?

posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 10:02 PM
Basically we'd have to qualify what it means to be objective. If we are dealing with absolute objectiveness, then no. I don't think this is possible. We can approach objectivity, but we are all with unconscious desires that cloud this ability. We are all with bias.

The best we can do is probably not from the individual, but from many people informing us of how we appear to be. I think if we are very honest with ourselves, and take in a lot of information about ourselves from others, then we can approach objectivity, but this would require an incredible amount of honesty. Most people, if they were informed in very blunt terms of how they are, would look to rationalize, and basically not process the information as it's presented. That's because we all carry a shadow, and if words could disintegrate them, by now we would all be in the light.

posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 10:07 PM
a reply to: Profusion

The closest I can get is when I'm around all my family, my children will do something that is so unbelievably annoying that we end up having a minor argument. My mother then takes me to one side and recounts a tale of me doing exactly the same thing if not worse. Long story short it's hard to be objective without a little push.
edit on 8-8-2016 by penfold because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 10:23 PM
a reply to: Profusion

Watzlawick did a great job explaining the sort of constructivism you're talking about, it's nothing new in psychology. Pretty mind-blowing, you should take a closer look into his work.

To leave your everyday state of mind isn't impossible either, but rather a question of de-conditioning and awareness. With calling out the illusions people tend to hold about themselves, you already opened up a road to achieve more objectivity about yourself by just being aware of this process. Might save you one day, cheer up a little!

posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 10:24 PM
a reply to: Profusion

What do you mean by an objective view? To see yourself as if you're looking at someone else? I'd say it's possible to do, but not natural. It may be helpful to set up a camera to film yourself if you want to try.

Do you mean seeing yourself the way someone else would see you? That would require you to understand the other person's/peoples perspective fairly well. It would require quite a bit of work, and you may never get perfect at it; but I think you could pull it off with a descent degree of success.

posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 10:32 PM
a reply to: VP740

Do you think everyone who observes another sees that person objectively? I would say this rarely (actually never, depending on how we define objectivity) happens.

This is why I started off stating we needed to qualify the term. This means so many different things from one person to the next.

posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 10:39 PM
The heart is deceitful above all thingsand desperately sick; who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9

posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 10:47 PM
a reply to: pl3bscheese

Right, while everyone may not look through an objective viewpoint; if an objective perspective exists, it should be accessible by everyone (or it can't be objective).

posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 11:35 PM
a reply to: Profusion

Are we all too biased about ourselves to see ourselves objectively?

Yes, obviously. Anyone who believes otherwise is quite deluded.

posted on Aug, 9 2016 @ 12:10 AM

originally posted by: Teikiatsu
It would take an impressive amount of honesty and self esteem.

Moreover, it would take many years of studying how the human brain works (Cognitive Biases being a good place to start) to even begin to know thyself.

posted on Aug, 9 2016 @ 12:16 AM

originally posted by: Aliensun
a reply to: Profusion

Who determines the objectives? No way the self can do that and no way society can do that. What society has the primo list of objectives? Take morality, who gets to make the rules on that whether you are objective or not in your view on that position for yourself or others?

Right. You bring social group theory in here and all hell breaks lose. A society can be gone mad in a certain way, where only 'handfuls' of individuals might actually realize / believe it . Yet the society would label them "insane" for not conforming etc.

posted on Aug, 9 2016 @ 12:58 AM

originally posted by: VP740
Do you mean seeing yourself the way someone else would see you? That would require you to understand the other person's/peoples perspective fairly well. It would require quite a bit of work, and you may never get perfect at it; but I think you could pull it off with a descent degree of success.

Yeah, OP might want to clarify. You obviously cant see yourself how every other individual might see you (especially factoring say social group theories). If this is what we're going by then this is a pointless exercise, especially considering how self-deluded most people tend to be, when their own craziness is what's judging you (pretty much everyone is 'crazy').

OP (Profusion):

The overall concept would be a scale, not absolutes (yes/no). Many if not most people would be entirely lost on this, where others could get high up the scale (assuming this isn't about knowing how others see you). Yet some people would almost naturally come about being the ideal case studies for naturally gravitating their entire life to being such.

True individuals would be ideally poised for this (as when we align ourselves in groups, groupthink makes us 'insane' [I can post science on this]). The more profound the group the more deluded we become: to the point our brains reward centers fire (like when a drug addict gets a fix) when we ignore contradictions about 'our' group.

Intelligence would play a critical factor. And then how we actually use it: some people put all 'their computer' (brain/mind) to say worshiping sports, and say knowing stats from some college football team from 1998; while some others put most of that same energy into studying 'themselves'.

Knowledge & wisdom as well. Knowing what you dont know (sounds like an oxymoron, as you cant know everything about 'everything' you dont know, but this would be another scale actually)! Next comes the amount, the percentage, of your ideas / "Facts" / knowledge / etc, especially that define your worldview (for example) that are actually correct. The more they shape you the more you need to 'triple check' the reality of each. Of course there's only so far you can even go with this, as it's not like you can "prove" everything in your brain.
Knowledge of how the brain/mind works, for example, is crucial here, as if you know nothing about how all brains work you cant possibly expect to accel here.

Then we have the self-deluded / self-deception scale. Do note, and I hate to have to say this, but self-deception is actually an evolutionary trait (check out the book: Deceit and Self-Deception by Robert Trivers). And as such, via social engineering, each year, for several decades now, the kids come out more and more narcissistic each 'year'. That is, on the general scale, and percentage wise (to the point now we have the "Snowflake Generation").

Also note that an individual can display signs of being narcissistic, that is have a big ego, yet they may tend to live up to it, while they can be less self-deluded than most others (even who aren't "narcissistic"). The world, especially where humans are concerned, everything flows in spectrum's & scales.

Oh, and then we have this thing where 'everybody' tends to have different versions of themselves that go active depending on who / what / where is happening. People with the least amount of these different 'personalities' will better chances on such a scale.

Then we have general HONESTY; hypocrisy would fit here too. Some people, myself included, can come about becoming Honest: To A Fault (which can be Brutally Honest at times, or not). Not recommended for people who need to feel popular to feel good about themselves, and/or "need" scores of "buddies" (fake friends) in their life to be fulfilled; recommended for extreme workaholics, people who prefer a more solitary existence. It's a status where you tend not to keep company with LIARS, people with drama scenario's that tend to involve you even when you don't prefer. Me my stepdad was a hardcore pathological liar, and I hated it, so now I have basically a total disdain for deception in all forms (unless its comedy).

Then, as I see Hypocrisy as being one of the worst problems in society (along with ignorance, deception, overarching social groups), and I intend not to be one... damn near everybody would scoff at clear LIES, yet everyone does it. Even I slip sometimes, when I've deliberately evolved my computer to be top notch at 'never' lying; 'never being wrong' (to do so it involves 'always' making sure you're right before you speak in absolutes when speaking about say truth).

The evolution and psychology of self-deception.
In this article we argue that self-deception evolved to facilitate interpersonal deception by allowing people to avoid the cues to conscious deception that might reveal deceptive intent. Self-deception has two additional advantages: It eliminates the costly cognitive load that is typically associated with deceiving, and it can minimize retribution if the deception is discovered. Beyond its role in specific acts of deception, self-deceptive self-enhancement also allows people to display more confidence than is warranted, which has a host of social advantages. The question then arises of how the self can be both deceiver and deceived. We propose that this is achieved through dissociations of mental processes, including conscious versus unconscious memories, conscious versus unconscious attitudes, and automatic versus controlled processes. Given the variety of methods for deceiving others, it should come as no surprise that self-deception manifests itself in a number of different psychological processes, and we discuss various types of self-deception.

Why we lie: The evolutionary roots of deception and the unconscious mind
The theme of the present book is that human beings are natural born liars. We have evolved to be deceivers not only of others but of ourselves as well. The practice of deception is not limited to humans but applies to other organisms as well. This thesis is not new but Smith makes some interesting suggestions about the evolutionary mechanisms that led to the evolution of our propensity for self-deception as well as suggestions about how the mechanism for self deception works. Along the way, there are some sympathetic remarks about the much maligned Sigmund Freud as well as the suggestion that modern cognitive psychological accounts of how we manage to deceive ourselves are not as far from Freud as contemporary cognitive psychologists would like to have us think.

10 Research Findings About Deception That Will Blow Your Mind
edit on 9-8-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 9 2016 @ 02:45 AM
a reply to: Profusion
Maybe occasionally in brief moments of realizations. The Dalai Lama wrote a book How to See Yourself As You Really Are. Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground also comes to mind.

posted on Aug, 9 2016 @ 03:13 AM
I doubt I see anything objectively.
I have serious doubts about that even being possible for human beings.
The more certain a person is that they hold the one true objective perception of anything,
the more subjective it turns out they are!

I have often perceived that my view of myself is not the same as others';
yet, not everyone has the same perception of me either!
In my own personal history, the tendency has been for me to think less kindly of myself than others do.
It used to seem terribly troubling, the wide difference between my perception and others'.

But when I got older, I noticed that
I created the perception of myself on purpose
("on purpose" being open for interpretation... here, I mean with a slightly subconscious purpose).
I did not want to become too confident, too conceited, or see myself as superior to anyone else in any way.
So I would mentally criticize and berate myself heavily, to create a bad self image.
I realized I did this and noticed that it increased whenever I got positive attention from people!

Even now, if anyone gives me a compliment, I want to run and cover my ears because I know it will throw my mind into a nagging self-degrading criticism for days afterward. I'll go over every stupid thing I have ever done in my life while I am driving; focus on every flaw when I see a mirror,; talk to myself in degrading ways as I go about my day.

The worst part? That there is this lucid perception of my reality-twisting habits,
But contrary to the traditional themes of psychology, just being aware of it ISN'T enough to stop it!

I have to make effort with repeated mental exercises to change it. But then, I am still left with the knowledge that my perceptions still might not be objective. I only hope they will be less destructive.

It is not whether they are true that is important to me now, the important thing is- what effects and consequences do they have??

posted on Aug, 9 2016 @ 03:19 AM
That's an interesting question.
I think it is a difficult thing to do, also because the definition of objective can be subjective, in a sense. What might seem objective to me one day in a particular mood, might seem a bit different the next.
There are certain states of consciousness that give the impression of greater objectivity, deep meditation/introspection, NDEs, certain psychoactive substances.
There are countless stories of people experiencing total ego death, where they are not subjected nor identify with their own personal drama, and see themselves as just one part of a whole, or even as the whole.
Or even people who claim that they saw themselves as seen through the eyes of other people, or from the eyes of a totally objective and neutral awareness.

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